Misaligned Teeth (Malocclusion)

For a healthy and long-lasting smile, your teeth need to be properly aligned with each other. The alignment of your bite affects everyday tasks including the way you speak and eat. When teeth are not aligned with each other, bacteria, plaque and tartar have more opportunity to grow and invade the teeth and gums. If you have an alignment issue, contact one of our dentists or orthodontists today to see what treatment option is best for you. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you

Common Types of Misaligned Teeth

Overbite, underbite, open-bite, cross-bite and gap teeth are all different ways your bite can be misaligned.

  • Overbite – When your front upper teeth overlap with your lower front teeth.
  • Underbite – Your front lower teeth overlap with your upper front teeth.
  • Open-bite – The upper and lower teeth don’t touch when your teeth are closed.
  • Crossbite – Part of the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth and part of the upper teeth sit over the lower teeth.
  • Gap teeth – A large space between your teeth.

Your teeth may be ground down, you may have jaw pain, or you may chip your teeth because of bite problems. Any of these symptoms should be analyzed by a dentist or orthodontist to see what treatment option is best for you.

Common Symptoms of Misaligned Teeth

Depending on the type of misalignment, your additional symptoms may be subtle or severe and include:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Pain while chewing
  • Headaches
  • Frequent biting of tongue, lips or cheeks
  • Speech problems
  • Breathing through the mouth instead of nose

Common Causes of Misaligned Teeth

Unaligned teeth are often caused by genetics. When adult teeth grow in, they may not grow straight, or your jaw may not be large enough for them. Unaligned bites can also be caused by outside factors including thumb sucking, pacifiers and oral trauma.

Treatment Options For Misaligned Teeth

There are several options your dentist or orthodontist can offer for misaligned teeth including Invisalign, traditional metal braces, or surgery. If your misaligned bite is not very severe, the dentist may recommend straightening your teeth with a retainer. This is a removable plastic aligner which will hold your teeth in a straight position.

It is important to go through treatment to straighten your teeth. Having misaligned teeth can ultimately contribute to tooth loss. The only way to determine the right treatment for your misaligned teeth is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan.

Who Treats Misaligned Teeth?

Your dentist or orthodontist can evaluate your teeth and then make a treatment recommendation. Treating a misaligned bite sooner rather than later is always the best option. Talk to a dentist or orthodontist about when it’s best to begin treatment for you or your children. 

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